NZ Herald 11 Oct 2012
Complaints against social workers could be handled by a new independent authority by 2014.
The change is one of the possible outcomes of a review into best practice that has been planned in the Government’s White Paper.
At present, complainants can ask the Ministry of Social Development to take their complaints, made directly to the ministry, to an external advisory panel.
The panel is meant to give an impartial review and report recommendations to the ministry’s chief executive.
An independent body would receive and process complaints rather than going through the ministry.
According to the White Paper, an independent review would recommend the best practice for handling complaints next year, to be put into place by the end of 2014.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the review would consider whether Child, Youth and Family needed something similar to the Independent Police Conduct Authority to consider complaints about it.
The White Paper also sets out a goal to improve CYF’s workforce.